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Google Will Start Letting You Know When You Can’t Just Google It

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If you now search for a question that has no real answer — as examples, Google cited “What year did Alexander Graham Bell first write ‘Call Me Maybe’?” and “When did Snoopy assassinate Abraham Lincoln?”, although who exactly is searching for this is still unclear — Google will refrain from providing a snippet with information that’s only partially correct (previously, it showed Lincoln’s assassination date, and ignored the fact that a comic strip beagle did not, in fact, kill the former president). Google said it has reduced when snippets are triggered in instances like these by 40%, although a company spokesperson declined to share the total number of search queries that triggered them in the first place.

These improvements to snippets will also show up in the “People Also Ask” section on the search results page, Nayak said.

A final new feature that’s coming this week to people who use the Google app on iPhones and iPads, for whatever reason, instead of a browser: If you need more context about a website you’re on, such as its reviews, how widely it is cited as a source, who owns it, and more, you can swipe up from the bottom navigation bar to find out. The feature will come to Android — Google’s own operating system for phones and tablets — later this year.

Still, none of these improvements will apply to YouTube, the other big Google-owned platform where misinformation sometimes runs rampant. “Their problem is a little bit different than ours,” Nayak said, because, unlike Google Search, YouTube actually hosts videos and serves them up algorithmically. “We don’t share code bases directly. We don’t work on YouTube directly and YouTube doesn’t work on us directly.”

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The era of constant innovation at Amazon could be over • TechCrunch

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There was a time when AWS re:Invent, the yearly customer extravaganza put on by Amazon’s cloud arm, was chock full of announcements. The innovation coming out of the company was so mind-boggling that it was hard to keep up with the onslaught of news.

But this year felt different. If last year was incremental, this year was downright slow when it came to meaningful news.

To give you a sense of our coverage here at TechCrunch, last year, we wrote 28 stories about the event. This year, it’s down to 18, including this one. It’s not that we wanted to write less — we just simply found there was less relevant news to write about.

The day two AI and machine learning keynote was all incremental improvements to existing products. There were so few meaningful announcements that my colleague Frederic Lardinois wrote a post in pictures mocking the lack of news.

It’s gotten to the point, it seems, where the ecosystem has grown so enormous, and there are so many products, that the company has decided to focus on making it easier to work with and between those products (or with external partner products) than creating stuff from scratch.

From a news perspective, that means that there’s really less to write about. Eight new SageMaker capabilities or five new database and analytics capabilities, which I’m sure are important to the folks who needed those features, feel like piling on to an already feature-rich set of products.

It’s not unlike Microsoft Word over the years: It’s a perfectly fine word processor, so the only way to really improve it was to lob on new feature after new feature to make it relevant to an ever wider or more granular audience.

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‘Absolutely Shocking’: Fox News Contributor Reacts To ‘Coordinated Effort’ By Former Twitter Execs

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A Fox News contributor called the released Twitter documents revealing the social media site’s censorship of a report on Hunter Biden’s laptop “absolutely shocking” Friday.

“It’s absolutely stunning. It’s absolutely shocking to – with what has come out so far with Matt Taibbi’s tweets showing just how much – just what a concerted effort it was behind the scenes in order to help one party over another party,” Charlie Hurt, the opinion editor at the Washington Times, told host Jesse Watters. “And it underscores the extraordinary danger of the kind of power that these people have and they have no reservation whatsoever about using it.” (RELATED: Elon Musk Says Releasing Internal Discussions On Hunter Biden Laptop Story Is ‘Necessary To Restore Public Trust’)

WATCH:

Rolling Stone contributing editor Matt Taibbi released details about the censorship of an Oct. 14, 2020 report on a laptop Hunter Biden left at a repair store Friday on his Twitter account. The laptop reportedly contained numerous emails and documents detailing the elder Biden’s involvement with his son’s business partners.

Social media companies censored the New York Post’s reports on the laptop, claiming the materials were hacked. The laptop was later confirmed as authentic by the Washington Post and New York Times.

“Let’s step back what we saw with the censoring of that ‘New York Post’ story was an effort by Twitter, companies to trick voters into voting for Joe Biden by suppressing this story,” Hurt said. “And it is absolutely shocking and they literally put this sequestered this story as if it were child pornography. That’s the way they treat it. That’s how desperately they wanted to help Joe Biden get elected.”

Twitter and President Joe Biden did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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Looks like sex tech startup Lora DiCarlo is done for • TechCrunch

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Lora DiCarlo, a sex tech startup that made headlines in 2019 after being blacklisted from the Consumer Electronics Show, seems to have shut down. The company’s website is offline and reportedly orders have gone unfulfilled for months.

TechCrunch has reached out to the eponymous founder for confirmation, but it sure looks like the end of the line for a briefly promising high-tech sex toy enterprise.

Founded in 2017, Lora DiCarlo was one of a new wave of tech-forward sexual health companies headed up by women. It won an innovation award at CES 2019 for, as our writer put it at the time, “a hands-free device that uses biomimicry and robotics to help women achieve a blended orgasm by simultaneously stimulating the G-spot and the clitoris.”

But then the Consumer Technology Association, which runs CES, withdrew the award and banned the company from exhibiting at the show. Their explanation at the time was that neither the company nor its devices “fit a product category.”

Predictably, this attracted immediate blowback and allegations of sexism, prudery and generally bad judgment. Everyone was on Lora DiCarlo’s side, and the publicity was invaluable, she later told TechCrunch at Disrupt: “I think they actually did us a pretty big favor.” The company raised $2 million around that time, and about $9 million total over its five years of operation.

But despite a big return to the show in 2020 (and a coveted TC+ feature, of course), the company seems to have faltered during the pandemic — perhaps falling victim to the same chip shortages and manufacturing problems even established hardware makers encountered.

As chronicled by Women’s Health, the last few months seem to have been Lora DiCarlo’s last, as various aspects of a functioning commercial enterprise began to fail: orders weren’t going out, stock was gone at retail partners and personnel have left. The site went down earlier this month and is down still. Although there has not been any official announcement, it certainly does seem that the company is kaput.

It’s too bad, but finding success as a hardware startup is hard enough without a pandemic and the stigma on sex toys adding drag. We’ll update this article if we hear back from DiCarlo.

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